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August 2, 2012

Marriage Advice: The Bottom Line

There is an infinite supply of marriage advice, readily available everywhere, all the time. Books, TV shows, videos, seminars, online courses, blogs, magazine and newspaper articles, friends and relatives, fortune cookies -- all dispensing unlimited wisdom to anyone who needs it.

The problem is, all these brilliant authorities can't quite seem to agree. What is the best way to handle finances? Should you ever go to bed mad? Can long-distance relationships succeed? How should you express anger? How important is sex? What is the best way to approach conflicts with in-laws? Do you really need a regular date night? Everyone has a different theory, a special technique, some new research. When the experts disagree, how can any of us ever decide what is right?

But take a closer look, especially at the most experienced and best-respected authors. The apparent differences are, for the most part, only in the details. The underlying principles are actually very consistent among all the experts.
  • Be faithful
  • Be honest
  • Be kind
  • Don't keep score
  • Be generous
  • Support your partner's dreams and goals
  • Express appreciation and gratitude
  • Be slow to blame and quick to apologize
  • Share physical affection
  • Talk about your feelings
  • Give your spouse the benefit of the doubt
  • Listen
  • Laugh
  • Treat your spouse like the most important person in the world
With this outline as a framework, filling in the details will become much easier.

Image by David Castillo Dominici FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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